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Coconuts, surf, sand and margaritas as big as pineapples. Tulum is every beach lover’s dream come true without feeling like you are surrounded by a flock of tourists. I’ve nick-named it the Byron Bay of Mexico.

So, where do I start? I freaking loved this place. About one hour drive south of Playa del Carmen, Tulum is the perfect combination of relaxation and rustic cabanas along with a cool hippy vibe. The long stretches of white sand and the inexorable current of the Caribbean, leaves you not wanting to do anything but chill-lax. From eco-lodges to all inclusive five star resorts there’s a type of holiday there for everyone.

The main street runs the whole way down the heart of Tulum; one side pristine beach, the other side Mexican Jungle. The street is dotted with a charming mixture of bungalows, restaurants, yoga studios, cafes and boutiques. It was hands down my favourite place in Mexico. We spent the day lounging in the sun at a small hotel called Las Ranitas (a small eco-lodge recommended by my sister for their ginormous sunbeds and even bigger margaritas). The day drifted away with us ordering a perfect rhythm of Mexican nibbles and cocktails. I think I tried every flavour or margarita possible!

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We weren’t staying in Tulum but we had rented a Jeep for the day to explore the town and boy oh boy had I wished I stayed there longer. If you don’t feel confident enough to rent a car, you can organise a transfer from your hotel in Playa del Carmen or better than that- plan to stay in Tulum itself.  I think next time I come back I’ll be doing a yoga /wellness retreat. I’m definitely going to stay in Tulum a lot longer next time.

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Even though I was only there for the day, these are my hot tips that I compiled from asking a few Tulum travelettes:

To eat:

Hart Wood – All cooking is done in an open fire – yep you guessed it – no electricity is used. You can expect spear caught fish and an all-organic menu. Sustainability is their key focus so the menu will vary day to day depending from what they source at the market.  It’s probably the best food in Tulum (and possibly Mexico – am allowed to say that?). My tip > make sure you get there early to snag yourself a seat – people wait in a line for up to two hours!

hartwood

To drink:

On the jungle side of the beach, there is nothing better than to sit back in a gypsy-style disco setting and sip on some local Mezcal. Gitano has all this and more. You can order a bite to eat here and dance the night away your balmy evenings.

To sleep:

Papaya Playa or The Beach Tulum. Both come highly recommended and embody the combination of rustic luxury with sustainable ethos at the heart of their operations.  Think beach front hammocks mixed with straw thatched roofs. Hello heaven!

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To see:

Beyond the beach, Tulum is a biosphere wonderland full of life and energy.  Depending what sort of holiday you’re after, you have the ruins of Tulum to explore that date back to the 13th century. Dive in one of the many cenotes (don’t forget to bring your GoPro), snorkel the underground river in the Chen Natural Park or venture to Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, where you can kayak and birdwatch at the same time!

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I’d love to hear your tips for Tulum! Comment below 😉

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Phoebe

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